This was my heavy action-cheating combo deck for the Washington State Regional Championship in Lacey at Olympic Cards and Comics. I knew I wanted to play something unique and ideally something disruptive that could handle multiple threats. Vader’s Fist is sort of public enemy #1 in my local meta, and I’ve come to the conclusion that getting rid of it before it hits the table is the most effective way of dealing with it.
I didn’t want to play a dedicated mill deck, so I was looking around for hybrid options. I enjoyed playing Yoda/Boushh for a little while, but I felt like it couldn’t quite accomplish what I was trying to do.
Rey – Force Prodigy was a perfect fit for Leia Organa – Boushh since her melee and discard sides were similar to Leia’s, she had resource sides for Salvage Stand triggers, and because her Elite point value of 12 gave enough space for a 2-point plot when combined with Leia.
The deck name came from Rey’s ability to action-cheat and from Leia’s ability to use off-affiliation cards. This deck also gets to break the rules by including two “three-of” cards by utilizing Double Down.
I got a LOT of help from my friends cjfm and thejumpingflea when deciding what to try and what to cut, and I ended up playing a few versions of this deck before settling on this iteration the night before the tournament.
My midnight hour decision to strip the deck of nearly all mitigation (including Second Chance and Force Illusion) felt risky, but I think it ultimately paid off. I wanted to squeeze in more cards to fuel my action-cheating and cheap hand disruption, and I didn’t want upgrades that would be totally dead against mill. Besides, it would be sort of impolite of me to remove my opponent’s dice if I wasn’t going to let them remove mine… right? 😉
The ideal opening play (since I usually lost the roll-off) was to get as many dice on the table as I could as quickly as possible, and then shave off a good chunk of cards with Close Quarters Assault. I would typically mulligan for:
A few card choice explanations:
Salvage Stand was crucial to my success. Keeping opponents poor meant that they weren’t able to play the cards that I missed with my discard actions. Players with empty hands tend to accumulate resources pretty quickly, and I couldn’t have that! It also helped prevent extra actions from cards like Darth Vader’s Lightsaber and Ciena Ree – Adept Pilot, and saved the lives of my characters from numerous pay side dice throughout the day. It was also perfect for giving Leia something to spot for her special.
Vibroknucklers are something I don’t see played often, but they’re basically made for this deck. Rey thrives on Ambush weapons, and the three base melee sides and two discard sides fit my needs perfectly. As an added bonus, they also gave me somewhere to put my extra resources later in the game, since its die value can be increased by 1 if you spend a resource on die resolution. This can help push unexpected damage, since this card’s “pump” ability can sometimes be overlooked (one of the advantages of using underplayed cards).
Déjà Vu was sort of an experiment, and I went back and forth a lot on whether I should use it. This deck doesn’t run much mitigation, but being able to play an event twice in succession can help with that. My usual play was to use it with Hidden Motive, since playing it twice didn’t cost me any resources. I dreamed of using it with Rigged Detonation, but the opportunity never presented itself. Playing Rebel twice seemed effective, since I could play two different cards from discard in one action, but was also potentially expensive depending on what I wanted to play.
PSA: Do NOT attempt to use Quick Draw to play an Ambush weapon on Rey – Force Prodigy while Déjà Vu is in play. You’ll lose an action and end your cheating prematurely! Save Quick Draw for Leia Organa – Boushh, or reserve it for use on Rey when you don’t have Déjà Vu instead.
Hero & Neutral Cards
Close Quarters Assault worked well, but sequencing it properly was important because of Déjà Vu‘s “You cannot take more than one additional action this turn” caveat. It also works well without Déjà Vu in play, which was generally how I used it.
An example of a safe CQA play is something like this:
- Have Déjà Vu in play.
- Play an Ambush weapon on Rey (gain two actions).
- Activate Rey (let’s pretend your roll lands with 3 melee sides showing – not a reliable turn of events, but not impossible).
- Play Close Quarters Assault to discard 3 cards from an opponents hand.
- Exhaust Déjà Vu to discard the rest of that opponent’s hand.
Things could get complicated if I tried sneaking a Force Speed special into the mix or something:
- Have Déjà Vu in play.
- Play Force Speed on Rey (gain one action).
- Play an Ambush weapon on Rey (gain two actions).
- Activate Rey (let’s say Force Speed shows a special).
- Resolve Force Speed (gain two actions).
- Play Close Quarters Assault.
- Exhaust Déjà Vu to double CQA.
- Lose additional action.
- (See PSA note about Quick Draw at the top of this guide).
That situation was not super common, but it was on my mind throughout the day.
I chose Control over Concentrate because my dice-rolling luck is usually pretty poor, especially with Rey’s many potentially un-resolvable sides. Turning one or two dice never felt like enough. Control gave me the option to fix the entire board, and when combined with Running Interference, it was usually a game closer. In a pinch, it also served as mass soft mitigation, which actually worked well with this deck since I was typically randomly discarding cards, too.
Being required to turn ALL of the dice – even the ones on sides I didn’t necessarily want to turn to something new – had the potential to force me to make some tough decisions sometimes, but generally wasn’t a problem.
Maz’s Vault never saw play, but I wanted to make sure I could hit Control by pretty much any means necessary (I was too scared of giving my opponent resources in a matter I couldn’t control to actually put it on the table, though).
Stuff I toyed with that didn’t make the cut
- +1 Vibroknucklers instead of +1 Close Quarters Assault from Double Down
- Free-For-All (for “dead” Rey dice)
- Lightsaber Training Staff (5/6 sides to trigger CQA, or to give one of my many +2X or +3X sides a base side.
This was a match against a friend that I always feel I have a disadvantage against, since she’s very experienced with this particular deck and plays in a lot of different venues. That battlefield hurts when you’re playing two to four upgrades and/or supports a round, so I had to rush to Claim often. Force Jump rolled fire and turned more of my dice than I would have liked, but that Leia special came up exactly when I needed it to and Salvage Stand did some serious work keeping resources in check. I did my best to hit Andrea’s hand just as hard as she was trying to hit mine. This was a close one, and it came down to the last two cards in my hand. I took a chance and played an un-RI-augmented Control and hoped Andrea wouldn’t be able to mitigate. A previously-defeated Yoda – Wizened Master meant she couldn’t spot Blue for Mind Trick, so I was lucky enough to have my gamble pay off. 1-0 (barely)
I didn’t feel favored in the Vader match-up, and this round 2 loss confirmed that for me. Two early Bait and Switches snuck in enough unexpected damage to drop Leia fairly early, and even with my action-cheating I couldn’t chew through all of Vader’s shields and Force Illusions. I felt like I put up a good fight, but it really wasn’t all that close. 1-1
Dave is a familiar face who usually favors Sabine Wren – Explosives Expert, but this time he was trying another off-meta deck with this head-tail Jedi duo. The game opened with a surprise Truce into Rigged Detonation from me (for a respectable four indirect damage) after he used the power action on Theed Royal Palace – Naboo. He put it all onto Aayla, whose dice-turning drew the rest of my attention very quickly. When Aayla went down she took two Force Speeds with her, but the sabers started to pile up on the dangerously rich Kit Fisto – Shii-cho Master. Unfortunately for Kit, my Vibroknife made his blocking ability a lot less effective, so the game wrapped up pretty quickly. 2-1
I had a Bad Feeling about this one going into it since I had lost to a different Vader earlier in the day. I immediately swung hard to discard a Darth Vader’s Lightsaber in Derrick’s hand that turned out not to be there. We went back and forth with incremental damage, but I was able to keep him off of resources (and that dreaded four for one) for the most part until he dropped a Darksaber on the table. Vader brought Boushh down to just one remaining health, but he wasn’t able to finish her off before an un-blockable and action-cheated eight damage swing took the Terror down the next round. Darksaber-wielding Greedo took out Leia soon after, but Rey was thankfully able to finish the job with a mountain of resources that let me dig with Renewed Purpose for the combo pieces I needed to clean up. I was lucky that Vader’s Fist and Darth Vader’s Lightsaber never hit the table, or it would have been a very different game. 3-1
Stephanie has been grinding this deck hard for months, and has not only honed the list to fit our local threats but has also mastered its lines of play. I’ve played against many versions of this deck multiple times, but even though it’s three-wide, I do not feel favored in this match-up.
I might be wrong, but I probably made a few key mistakes in this particular game:
- I surprisingly won the roll-off, and let her have the shields in favor of grabbing the extra resource.
- I went after the Clone Trooper first, which I normally would never do over Maz, but the Handheld L-S1 Cannon that I missed on my opening CQA made him a juicy target.
- I didn’t play Rebel when I had the chance for a big Control play to fix my dice (because I was waiting for her to roll out), and she hit my only discard side that was showing with a Rebel Assault.
Despite my possible misplays, I didn’t feel bad about this game at all. Stephanie earned the win, and I learned how to approach things differently next time. 3-2
Jeff was a self-admitted newcomer to the game, but his table placement implied otherwise! He explained that he had been able to swing games with some huge unexpected plays (such as hitting the six on a Shadow Caster with his Reversals, and an unexpected Claim to use his battlefield ability to sneak in damage with the Jedi Sentinel) and was doing a lot better than he had expected.
He hadn’t seen Rey – Force Prodigy before, and I generally feel bad about introducing someone to her for the first time – especially if they’re relatively new. The first two rounds he wasn’t able to play any cards before I discarded his entire hand twice with action-cheated and Déjà Vu-boosted Close Quarters Assault plays. Then, when he had mitigation in hand for round three, Rey just action-cheated around all of it.
That much action-cheating and card removal felt like it could cause some serious NPE, but Jeff took it in stride and applauded my unique deck build. I hope he keeps coming out to play! 4-2
Round 7 (Jeremy) Snoke – Supreme Leader / Bala-Tik – Gang Leader / Ciena Ree – Adept Pilot – Won roll-off, fought on my Theed Royal Palace – Naboo (His battlefield was Weapons Factory Alpha – Cymoon 1) (W)
I play with Jeremy at least once a month or so, and he usually brings decks that aren’t quite meta but still have a lot of the pieces that make the more commonly seen decks sail. I had a good feeling about this match because of Leia’s special and my ability to both hit the hand and keep (Resources) low. Plus, I was lucky enough to scrap Slave I before it could make it onto the table. However, I swung and whiffed on his Firespray-31, which, along with Snoke – Supreme Leader, started pumping out damage to the tune of eleven (followed by seven in the next round).
Ciena Ree – Adept Pilot went down quickly to Leia-bombs and some extra sticks, and after an RI-fueled Control that net me the nine damage I needed to defeat Snoke – Supreme Leader, I was able to knock out Bala in the next round. 5-2
Overall, I was very happy with how the deck played. It did what it was designed to do, and it honestly took home more games that I thought it would (especially with its notable lack of dice mitigation). Important to me was the fact that it was a deck that I was pretty much certain none of the 56 other players would be playing. I know that it’s inconsistent, and that I probably lucked out on my opponents rolling below average most of the time, but I had fun building and playing it, and I got to use characters that I like! The sweet prizes from Olympic Cards and Comics were also awesome sauce gravy. 😉